The Bright Ideas in Health Awards is now celebrating its sixteenth year. The Awards are organised by The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC).

Click here to find out more and submit an idea

The Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams working within the NHS, industry and academia, who have risen to the challenge of telling how, and where, they believe that the services provided to patients can be improved, either through a technical innovation or through better service delivery.

Everyone can play a part in developing innovative solutions to the healthcare challenges that we face every day. The competition, depending upon the category, is open to all SMEs, NHS organisations and academic institutions in the North East of England and North Cumbria.

The Categories for the Bright Ideas in Health Awards 2019 are:

  • Development of an Innovative Device or Technology
  • Digital Innovation in Health and Social Care
  • Innovation Champion Award
  • Demonstrating an Impact upon Patient Safety 
  • Outstanding Research Collaboration with the NHS 
  • Demonstrating an Impact upon Quality Improvement 
  • Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine Award 
  • Innovation in Education

Entries into the Bright Ideas in Health Awards 2019 are now open.

The closing date for entries is 31st July 2019. Finalists will be informed in October and invited to the awards ceremony.

Winners will be announced at the Bright Ideas in Health Awards ceremony, held on Thursday 14th November at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel.

Click here to find out more and submit an idea

The Horizons Team have an improvement related scheme that we thought you might be interested in which starts on 16 May 2019.

The School for Change Agents builds change agency which is the power, individually and collectively, to make a difference. It is about pushing the boundaries of what is possible, mobilising others and making change happen more quickly. They are more than a school. They are a movement of 15,000 people in the health sector building a community to create the boldest and most innovative new ideas in health and care. It is the most widely used skill-building programme for change in the NHS. The Community is entirely online, there are five interactive live webinars with the opportunity to catch up with the recordings afterwards. 

The School will provide you with the skills, confidence and community to make a difference in an ever-changing and evolving environment, and the skills to implement the NHS Long Term Plan through sharing the latest in change and transformation thinking. You will leave the School with the power to make change in your organisation. 

There will also be six modules on their e-learning platform, hosted by Futurelearn, in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy. This will provide you with the opportunity to further your learning beyond the live webinars, offering opportunities for reflection on how to implement your learning. The entire course is free to join and take part in. If you want to receive accreditation and CPD for these modules, there is a nominal fee of £32. This may be useful for a range of professions, such as revalidation for medical and nursing colleagues. They will also make a number of free upgrades available to NHS staff and patients (‘experts by experience’). Details of this will follow in due course. 

The dates of the live sessions (which will be presented by Helen Bevan and Kathryn Perera) are below:

  • 16 May
  • 23 May
  • 6 June
  • 13 June
  • 20 June

These will take place at 3pm UK time and recordings of the live sessions will be made available afterwards. 

Sign up for the School


Commissioned by the NHS Leadership Academy national team, this programme is open to accredited mentors or any NHS staff member who is interested in supporting their colleagues’ journey back into work after a period of extended leave. Participants are asked to attend an experiential learning event to learn more about Return to Work Mentoring - the day will be facilitated by subject expert Nicki Seignot and include cross-sector guest speakers with lived experience. 

The cohorts will be taking place 9.00am-5.00pm on the following dates:

  • 19th June in Leeds at the Leadership Academy 
  • 24th September in London

The link to programme information is here: 

The link to sign ups is here:  

Please contact Katy Brown (National Programme Coordinator) with any queries: 


Improvement Fundamentals is a programme of free online, self-directed mini-courses in quality improvement (QI) for those involved in heath or social care services, which launched in 2018. 

The first four courses in the programme have now run twice each. However, in case you missed them or would like another chance to complete them, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Sustainable Improvement team is running them all again - three times each - in 2019 and 2020, starting next week.


The schedule of courses is:

Course 101: An Introduction to Quality Improvement Theory - week commencing (w/c) 13 May 2019; w/c 09 September 2019; w/c 13 January 2020

Course 201: Developing Improvement Aims and Conducting PDSA Cycles - w/c 10 June 2019; w/c 07 October 2019; w/c 03 February 2020

Course 301: An Introduction to Measurement for Improvement - w/c 08 July 2019; w/c 11 November 2019; w/c 02 March 2020

Course 401: An Introduction to Spreading Improvement Gains - w/c 12 August 2019; w/c 09 December 2019; w/c 23 March 2020


All of the courses are now open for you to enrol onto on the QI Learning Platform. You don’t have to have completed any of the previous courses to take part - all are welcome. Please do pass on this information to any colleagues who you think may be interested.

During each week, expert facilitators from NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement team will be on hand to answer your questions and offer their insights in the social spaces on the courses.

Each course will take just 2.5 hours of your time, and is worth 2.5 CPD points each.

To find out more and enrol, please visit: